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Hearing and Doing the Word

James 1:19 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;

let every man be quick to hear (1:19b)

Just as ‘knowing’ in the above was suggestive of an action, so too, “hearing” is suggesting obedience. (John 8:37, 38, 47) In other words, ‘to hear is to obey.’ Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matt. 11:15) We should not fail to hear aright. It takes more than hearing the audio sound of what is being said, so as to hear with understanding. We are challenged to pay close attention to what the speaker has said and to ask ourselves what he meant by the words that he used. The apostle Paul wrote, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Rom. 10:17) What did Paul mean? He meant that by taking in the Word of God, our faith and sureness grow in God, as we see the outworking of his promises. If we are not obeying the Word of God, then, apparently, we have not truly heard the Word of God. We want to move beyond being hearers to being doers as well. All self-importance, willfulness, preconception and personal opinion should be set aside as we humbly hear the Word of God. We should long for the Word of God, seeking it and being eager to obey.[1]

[1] See Matthew 11:15; 13:43; Mark 4:9; 4:23; Luke 14:35; Revelation 2:7, 11; 3:6, and 13.